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Are You Dead Yet?

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  • Children of Bodom’s fifth album, and their first without guitarist Alexander Kuoppala, is an attempt by the band to appeal to and increase their stateside fan base. I wish them luck, because they really do deserve it. “Are You Dead Yet?” is mainly full of fast (at times nearly blistering) guitar leads, chunky hooks, and hefty rhythms. The title track has a pounding beat, and “In Your Face” has almost machine gun riffs. And if you’re looking for a good guitar solo, there are an abundance to be found on this record. Even though the title track has an infectious, winding guitar solo, and “We’re Not Gonna Fall” has a classical-sounding solo, track three, the multi-parted “If You Want Peace…Prepare For War,” has my vote for the best guitar solo on here. But since Children of Bodom also dabble in keyboards, orchestras, and somewhat tuneful vocals, this album has a melodic edge to it, and makes the band fall under the “melodic death metal” label. In fact, the first track, “Living Dead Beat,” which has a new-wavy vibe with a keyboard solo, wouldn’t be out of place on a Depeche Mode album. Some of the tracks aren’t very remarkable (see “Punch Me I Bleed”), but all in all, if you’re burnt out on melodic metal,”Are You Dead Yet?” serves up a recipe that should most definitely rekindle your interest.

    Posted on February 19, 2010